Norway, a Secular Country?

The first 2013 issue of “Fri Tanke“, or “Free Thought” in English, the member’s magazine of the Norwegian Humanist Association, had an interesting article about the decline of religion in Norway. One of the questions from a survey they conduct every four year had some interesting results. I have translated the questions and options as best I can, and recreated the figure (below) from the printed copy.

Norway has a state religion which has previously been defined in the constitution to be the Lutheran Christian tradition. This was altered in June last year, and now lists Christianity (unspecified) and humanism as our cultural heritage instead. (As someone pointed out on Twitter, the use of the word “humanism” here is meant to be taken more generally than what’s usually understood by being a humanists.) Humanism and social justice is gaining a foothold, and much has happened over the last few years. Gender neutral marriage laws (which in effect means equal marriage) were also introduced in 2009, but we still lack proper legal protection and health care options for transgender people, which is a larger topic I’ll get back to as soon as I have the time. The first report ever on the issue was released just a week ago and looks very promising.

Still, progress is progress. I’m happy with what has changed, and am waiting for the things to come.

Status of religion in Norway

A 2012 survey by the Norwegian Humanist Association of the status of religion in Norway. The figure has been recreated and translated from the printed original. The numbers are rounded and therefore do not add up to exactly a 100%.

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